Friday, 29 July 2011

Singapore coach unhappy with referee

Singapore coach Raddy Avramovic was furious with Japanese referee Takayama Hiroyoshi for almost causing his team a spot in the third round of the World Cup qualifiers yesterday.

According to the Serb, the referee had the whistle in his mouth but hesitated when Kunanlan was tackled by one of his players near the penalty box.

"It resulted in a goal as Kunanlan continued play by passing the ball to Safee (Sali), who then put Malaysia in the lead in the second half. My players stopped play thinking the referee would blow the whistle for a foul on Kunanlan," Avramovic told reporters after the match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil

"It is poor refereeing. But luckily we came back strongly and scored through Shi Jiayi. I think my players played good and disciplined football. Everyone in the team was at their best."

Singapore players were also found guilty of resorting to time wasting throughout the match but Avramovic defended his players' actions by stating some of his players had picked up injuries then.

"It wasn't time wasting. My players were in pain as some fouls were bad. One of my players was fouled by the same Malaysian player three times but the referee did not give him a card," he said.

He, however, commended the Malaysian players for their never-say-die attitude.
"I think it was a superb game as both teams played very hard. Malaysia really tried their best but this is football... we got the result we wanted in this match," said the 61-year-old.

On whether Singapore would have beaten Malaysian 6-4 on aggregate without their foreign players, Avramovic stressed that the ones played yesterday were naturalised players.

"You cannot compare Singapore with Malaysia as we do not have a huge base to choose from. We also do not have many teams in our league.

"What is wrong selecting naturalised players to play for Singapore? If they can improve our football then why not," he added.

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